Allah’s Eternal Word
All true people of faith have been united in their belief in Allah and His Word. Throughout history Allah has sent His Word through various prophets. By that Word mankind has learned much about Allah and how to obey and please Him. Allah’s Word has always been the most precious possession of people of faith. It has directed their actions and their relationship with Allah. Thus, faith in Allah’s Word is one of the basic signs of a follower of Allah. Yet, what does faith in Allah’s Word really involve? If I claim to have faith in Allah’s Word, what should be my relationship to that Word?
It is sometimes claimed, for example, that while we must believe in all Scripture as given by Allah, we cannot accept or live by them all because one or more Scripture has been changed. Others feel earlier Scripture has been abrogated or made out of date by more recent Scriptures.
These are extremely serious charges. If such charges are false, then those who claim otherwise are committing a terrible offense against Allah. They are denying and rejecting what Allah has given them, a truly terrible act for anyone desiring to be a servant of Allah. Thus, what faith in Allah’s Word really involves is a question that deserves our serious attention and study. Is Allah’s Word reliable, trustworthy and applicable for us today? Let us examine what the Quran has to say about the reliability of Scripture.
One of the most basic attributes of Allah is His omnipotence. This means that he is all powerful, and no one – neither man, nor angel, nor Satan – can frustrate His plans or nullify His wishes. It is a simple result of Allah’s omnipotence that, as He gave Scripture to man, so He is able to preserve it from corruption by man. That is the very clear teaching of the Quran. The following verses are quite explicit in this:
Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and Justice. There is naught that can change His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower.
There is no changing the Words of Allah.
And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scripture of Thy Lord. There is none who can change His words, and thou wilt find no refuge beside Him.
That Allah should keep His Word uncorrupted is very necessary if we consider His purpose in sending it. Allah sent His Word as a light and a direction for mankind. He would certainly never allow that light to become corrupted. To do so would be to result in the opposite of what He intended. It would lead people away from Allah and into sin and darkness. For Allah to send His Word and command people to obey it but then allow it to be corrupted and become a false guide would result in His leading astray untold millions of sincere believers.
Similarly, to abrogate or set aside His Word without clearly stating that fact and specifying the Scriptures abrogated would also be to lead astray sincere followers. Certainly if Allah had annulled His earlier Scriptures, He would have given clear instruction of that in His Word. Yet, such is totally lacking.
It is because Allah has neither allowed His Word to be corrupted nor annulled that the true believer is commanded to have faith in that Word. The Quran says:
O ye who believe, Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray.
But say, I believe in whatever Scripture Allah hath sent down.
Lo. Ye are those who love them though they love you not, and ye believe in all the Scripture.
Yet, true faith is not just an intellectual assent. Faith also involves a commitment to follow and to obey and to refer to for direction when in doubt. Thus, we find verses such as the following:
Say: O People of the Scripture. Ye have naught (of guidance) till ye observe the Taurat and the Injil and that which was revealed unto you from the Lord.
And if thou art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee.
Such commands would certainly not have been given had the Taurat and Injil been corrupted or abrogated. Further, the Quran is explicit in describing why the believer should refer to and obey Scriptures such as the Taurat and the Injil. It is because they contain light and direction for Allah’s people. Thus:
How come they unto thee for judgment when they have the Taurat, wherein Allah hath delivered judgment? Lo, we did reveal the Taurat, wherein is guidance and a light.
If the Quran taught that Allah’s Word had been changed or abrogated, obviously the above would never have been written. Instead, we would expect the Quran to give clear teaching on that fact and give the Scriptures that were so abrogated. Such is, however, simply not the case and is the reason why those who make such claims do not use verses from the Quran in support of their claims.
In the light of such facts, some will agree that at the time the Quran was given, the Taurat and Injil were pure and uncorrupted. But they go on to claim that it was at a later date, after the Quran was written, that the hateful work was done and the Scriptures changed. Yet, such a claim is easily dispensed with as false by simple facts of history.
It is an undisputed fact that many copies of Allah’s Word that were made long before the giving of the Quran are presently in existence in museums around the world. These copies of the originals are in both the original Greek and Hebrew language and in many different translations in other languages. Some of the very early Scriptures go back to 800 years before the Quran. Yet, except for minor scribal errors, they agree perfectly with each other and with our present Scriptures.
A striking confirmation of this was seen when in 1947 and following many ancient copies of Scripture were discovered in the Qumran caves around the Dead Sea in Palestine. These manuscripts belonged to the library of a Jewish community which lived in that area from 125 B.C. to A.D. 70. It was found that those copies, some dating 700 years before the Quran and all at least 500 years before it, agree totally with our present texts. Thus, it is clear that no corruption has taken place after the Quran.
The above testimony concerning the reliability of Scripture should satisfy any true believer in the Quran. Some, however, do not seem to accept even such evidence. For such people we would simply ask the following questions:
First, if it is claimed that Scripture was changed, how was it done? Copies of both the original Scriptures and translations were made very early and accompanied believers as they spread throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. Not only were copies kept in places of worship, but individual believers would often have their own personal copy. For any one man or group of men to attempt to track down and corrupt all Scriptures on three continents was clearly an impossible task. Not only would it have been impossible to track down all copies, but it would be unthinkable to imagine that all believers would have allowed their copies to be corrupted. As the Quran says:
And thou wilt find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe to be those who say: Lo, we are Christians. That is because there are among them priests and monks, and because they are not proud.
Sincere believers such as these would never have submitted their Scriptures to corruption.
Our second question is, Who would have done such a terrible thing? Some claim the Jews and the Christians together. Yet, both groups were suspicious of each other and would never have worked together. As is recorded in the Quran:
And the Jews say the Christians follow nothing, and the Christians say the Jews follow nothing true; yet both are readers of the Scripture.
And while they could not have worked together, it is equally unthinkable to suppose they could have worked independently. Had one group ever attempted such a thing, the other would immediately have exposed their evil plans.
A third question that needs to be answered is, Where is the original and uncorrupted copy of Scripture? History carries no record that such an impossible task was ever done. Thus, as evidence, those who claim Allah’s Word was changed should be able to show the original Scripture and point out the changes. Yet, such has never been possible.
A final and most important question that needs an answer is, Why would anyone seek to change their Scriptures? There are, after all, strict prohibitions in Allah’s Word against any man attempting such an ungodly work as to change that Word. Thus, in the Injil it is written:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, Allah will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, Allah will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Considering such severe penalties involved, why would anyone try to change Allah’s Word?
In view of what we have just examined, we feel an honest inquirer can reach no other conclusion but that Allah’s Word is both trustworthy and binding on all those who are His people. We would request only that those who think otherwise provide proof for their claims. May we each read and obey Allah’s Holy Word.
The first nine questions below are multiple choice. Simply press the button by the statement you feel best answers the question. Question ten asks you to put down your own ideas. Answer it truthfully and to the best of your knowledge.
1. According to the Quran, can Allah’s Word be changed?
a. Yes, quite easily.
b. No, never.
c. Yes, but only very infrequently and with great effort.
2. Who has Allah said would protect Holy Scripture from being changed?
b. Allah Himself.
c. The prophets.
3. What would be the result if Allah were to allow His Word to be changed?
a. Thousands of faithful believers would be led astray.
b. No serious results would follow.
c. Many would be thereby encouraged to read and obey Allah’s Word.
4. According to the Quran, who is required to believe in all of Allah’s Word?
a. All true believers.
b. Only some believers.
c. No one.
5. According to the Quran, the Taurat contains:
a. Correct instruction and light.
b. Some mistakes.
c. Information irrelevant for today.
6. Copies of the Taurat and Injil in the original languages are in existence from:
a. Several hundred years before the Quran.
b. The time of the Quran.
c. Only long after the Quran.
7. The Taurat and Injil were originally written in:
a. Hebrew and Greek.
c. Arabic and Urdu.
8. The holy Injil:
a. Severely warns people against attempting to change Allah’s Word.
b. Encourages people to change Allah’s Word.
c. Says nothing about changing Allah’s Word.
9. The Injil and Taurat could not have been changed after the Quran was given because:
a. Jews and Christians would not have cooperated in such a task.
b. Allah has promised to keep His Word uncorrupted.
c. Both of the above.
10. What would you say to someone who says that the Taurat, Zabur and Injil have been changed and corrupted?